Japan is yet again under the cloud of a tsunami warning after an earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale hit Japan’s east coast. The epicentre of the quake was around 245 km miles south-east of Kamiashi at a depth of 36 km. The US geological survey reported that the shock from the quake was felt in Japan’s capital Tokyo as well as an array of other cities around the country.
The tsunami warning centres around the coastlines of Japan and at this point in time it is believed there is no threat to the wider Pacific Ocean. So far the warnings relate to a tsunami at anywhere between 50 cm and 2 m in height which is well below the 11 m experienced in the 2011 tsunami. However, tsunami warnings are notoriously difficult to predict with real confidence and as such there is concern along Japan’s coastline about the potential damage and problems which may follow.
It does seem as though the Japanese authorities are determined not to be caught off guard as they were by the 2011 tsunami and a number of evacuations orders have already been issued. Such is the concern about the potential repercussions of this event that campaigning by the Prime Minister for 16 December elections has been cancelled.
There has been some concern expressed about potential damage to Japan’s power network which incorporates an array of nuclear power stations, one of which was at the centre of an earlier tsunami. While lessons have certainly been learnt from events in the past there is no doubt that the Japanese authorities are taking no chances on this occasion. This is a news story which will be evolving and changing over the coming hours.